Fake Snapchat Accounts: What Is the Point?

Here’s why there are fake Snapchat accounts:

Most fake Snapchat accounts are designed to manipulate users and/or the Snapchat algorithm into behavior that ultimately leads to financial gain.

Fake account holders might try to scam you out of cash, or they might sell views and follows as a service.

There are lots of reasons, but it usually boils down to money.

So if you want to learn all about the intention behind fake Snapchat accounts, then this article is for you.

Keep reading!

Fake Snapchat Accounts: What Is the Point? (All the Info)

Why Do People Create Fake Snapchat Accounts? (5 Reasons)

One way or another, fake accounts are usually about making money. 

Well, let’s cover the alternative first. 

Some people make fake accounts in order to have fun with an app or escape the scrutiny of their friends list. 

You can probably imagine a few reasons why a person might make a fake account on any social media platform.

But, the majority of fake accounts you will run across on Snapchat are made in bulk. 

They’re made by people or groups with a goal in mind, and a lot of the accounts are actually run by bots. 

Some of those bots are highly sophisticated and difficult to discern from real people. 

Other bots are simple and obvious, but it doesn’t matter.

With fake accounts, people can try to make money by:

  • Spamming users with advertisements
  • Running scams
  • Manipulating the algorithm
  • Collecting and selling data
  • Running social engineering schemes

In some cases, they’re just testing bots that can be used or sold later.

There are a lot of individual reasons, but it usually comes back to making money.

#1 Advertising

One of the most common things you’ll see out of fake social media accounts is advertising. 

The account (usually a bot) adds you or sends you a request. 

If you engage, they send links or other short advertisements.

In a lot of cases, these bots aren’t trying very hard.

They aren’t trying to trick you or convince you that they are human.

They’re just throwing the ad your way so that you will see it.

This strategy is a bit of a numbers game. 

The idea is that if enough people see the ads, some will respond and check them out. 

So, they try to spam as many accounts as possible in order to make money off of this advertising mechanism.

The good news is that this kind of advertising is harmless. It isn’t stealing information from you or sending you to malicious websites. 

Unfortunately, none of that makes it any less annoying.

If you have a problem with spam and bots, you can consider changing your Snapchat account to private

It restricts who can contact you and how, and it can cut down on fake account interactions substantially.

#2 Scamming

Scamming is a different animal, even though fake accounts might behave a whole lot like advertisements. 

The mechanism is similar.

The fake accounts will add you and try to interact with you. 

The goal is usually to get you to download an app or go to a website.

The key difference is that scammers aren’t just trying to get you to buy something.

They’re trying to trick you out of money. 

The website or app might prove malicious.

Or, they might sell you a product and never actually ship it.

There are a lot of ways this can ultimately play out, but the goal of the scammer is to get money out of you without anything in return. 

It’s also frustrating because scams and ads are often indistinguishable at a glance.

The good news is that you can deal with this the same way. 

Switch to private or limit who is allowed to contact you, and you’ll see fewer scams on Snapchat.

#3 Algorithm Manipulation

This is another huge reason for fake accounts, and it’s in a completely different realm. 

In this case, people are making fake accounts so that they can follow and support specific content on Snapchat. 

As a social media app, Snapchat uses algorithms to make some content more visible than other content.

Snapchat doesn’t publicize its algorithm, but it certainly seems that popularity plays a role. 

If a lot of people interact with a certain video, it’s going to become more visible.

Fake accounts are there to push that idea of popularity. 

In a lot of cases, businesses or groups create large numbers of fake accounts and sell views or follows as a service. 

A content creator can hire such a group, and the fake accounts will help push new content to more people faster, all through this method of manipulating the Snapchat algorithm.

#4 Bot Testing

This is less common, but there are people who work in the space of creating bots. 

Bots aren’t just around for annoying Snapchat users. 

Bots can be used to help businesses provide support to customers, among many other functions.

Bot developers often want to test the bots and how they interact with real people. 

One easy way to do that is to use social media. 

You’ll see these types of bots on every social media platform, Snapchat included.

#5 Collecting and Selling Data

Fake accounts, whether run by bots or not, interact with users on Snapchat.

Through these interactions, they generate data, and they get users to generate data.

This is part of the giant machine that is social media big data. 

The massive stores of data are used to figure out all kinds of things about people and behavior, and the data and research tied to it all are valuable.

Major companies around the world invest heavily in big data, and they are constantly looking for two things: more data and better conclusions.

It may sound weird, but there are people and groups who create bots or fake accounts just to generate more data.

This isn’t about tricking you out of personal information or anything like that. 

Instead, by interacting with Snapchat users, they’re getting all kinds of weird, tiny details that go into the number-crunching machines.

What Can Tinder Scammers Do With Your Phone Number?

Before I continue, have you ever been asked for your phone number on Tinder?

Don’t give it away without a second thought.

At a minimum, a scammer can sell your information and lead to you getting spam calls and advertisements that are annoying at worst. 

More successful scammers can use your phone number and personal information to steal just about anything from you.

There’s not really a ceiling on how bad it can get.

Learn all about what a scammer on Tinder can do with your phone number here.

What Is Social Engineering? (2 Methods)

Arguably, social engineering could be considered a classification of scamming. 

Social engineering is about tricking people into certain behaviors, and when it comes to social engineering on Snapchat, the end goal usually is a scam of some kind.

But, this is a more sophisticated approach, and that’s why it feels necessary to separate social engineering from other scams. 

The scams mentioned before are not particularly clever.

They’re just trying to get people to take a link or download an app, and the software does the rest.

Social engineering is where a person (or even a bot) will try to get you to reveal personal information that can be used against you. 

One of the most common end results is identity theft, where you give up enough details that they can steal your money or open a credit card in your name.

There are a few specific aspects of social engineering that merit deeper discussion, and there’s a specific social engineering scheme that we can look at to really understand how all of this works.

#1 Getting Personal Information

Personal information can be used to steal accounts or identities, so it’s easy to understand the financial goal here. But, it helps to look at how the process works.

Someone talented in this area will engage you on social media (Snapchat in this instance).

They will strike up conversations and essentially befriend you on the app. 

Through your seemingly normal conversations, they might ask about things you like, what your life was like growing up, and other simple stuff. 

You might reminisce with each other about your first concert or your favorite teacher or the name of the street where you grew up.

Have you noticed? 

These are common security questions. 

If you give up these answers, someone could use them to reset the passwords on any number of your accounts. 

Once they can do that, they can completely take over those accounts. 

If said accounts happen to contain financial information or anything of value, you might be hurting.

This is what social engineering is all about. If you were ever warned not to talk to strangers, that advice is even more important on the internet.

#2 Catfishing

You’re getting the idea of how social engineering works, but there’s a specific scam that really drives it all home. 

Catfishing is when someone creates a faux relationship with a person online in order to get money out of them.

Here’s the classic scenario. 

You meet a random person on Snapchat. 

You have some conversations and realize you have a lot in common. 

You really hit it off, and eventually, the two of you start talking about meeting in real life. This might be a romantic connection, or it might not.

Either way, it plays out the same way.

You and your new friend decide you want to meet up, but there’s a problem.

They’re going through a hard time right now, and they can’t afford to travel. 

So, being the generous person you are, you send them money to help cover the cost.

Unfortunately, that’s where the relationship ends. They never travel.

They pocket the money and move on to the next victim. 

In extreme cases, they might try to play you for more money, but that’s less likely to work.

Other catfishing scenarios might involve a sick family member, being stranded in a foreign country with no money, or anything else that might compel you to send cash right away.

The key to catfishing is developing that relationship.

It’s social engineering of the highest level, and you can trust that anyone running such a scam is doing it with a fake account.

Why Are There Spam Accounts on Instagram?

Now you know about fake accounts on Snapchat.

What about spam accounts on Instagram, though?

The primary reason you will see a spam account on Instagram is that someone is trying to sell you something. 

More subtle approaches use spam accounts to try to drive traffic to certain content creators or content. 

Ultimately, bots can do a lot of different things on Instagram, and that variety pushes spam.

Learn all about the intent behind spam accounts on Instagram here.

Good Idea to Put Your Phone in the Freezer to Cool it Off?

One word. Non.

Don’t put your phone in the freezer. Like never.

At best, putting your phone in a freezer is risky and can permanently damage the phone. 

While some phones survive this encounter, cold temperatures are notoriously bad for batteries. 

Additionally, the cold temperatures in the phone can damage the phone’s structure and expose the phone to condensed water.

Learn all about why it’s a a pretty bad idea to put your phone in the freezer here.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.